Marketing Automation Succeeds
When the pandemic is declared over, and life returns to a new normal, marketing books will be published on the many lessons learned. For retailers, one such lesson is the power of marketing automation.
Why? Online retailers who were quick to apply automation discovered that it not only helped them acquire new customers and sales. It also took less work and funding. That was the finding of a survey of 1000 of the largest e-commerce companies this spring by Digital Commerce 360, an e-retail media and research firm.
By encouraging discussion and participation on their social media platforms and hosting live streaming events, retailers could connect with consumers wherever they were. That success has led to many brands increasing their marketing budgets for 2021 to expand their automation efforts.
Unless the brand is large and has IT staff with the expertise to accomplish the following suggestions, the next best thing is to find a tech partner with those skills to automate the brand’s pipeline and provide wise counsel. These are some of the strategies they could assist with.
Although much has been written about the value of personalization, not enough emphasis can be placed on its value and merits. Too many brands still lose potential customers after spending a good part of their budget, attracting their attention. A well-thought-out personalization strategy can help remedy this. Discovering where and why potential customers leave a brand’s site can offer clues on personalizing content and targeted products to keep them there.
It’s also not uncommon today to run out of stock on popular items. Recommending a reasonable substitute at the time can help as well as informing customers who visited the page with the intent of purchasing the items when the item they initially sought is back in stock. This thoughtful notice will help ensure brand loyalty.
Staying top of mind after a sale also has tremendous value. Online cleaning kit company Skura emails customers reminders with cute GIFs to remind them that it may be time to change their cleaning sponges. When hand sanitizers were in high demand and difficult to find, the company sent out tips on how customers could make their own.
In addition to building and reinforcing existing marketing efforts, marketing automation can also boost new customer acquisition by building a brand’s digital presence. Partnering with allied brands and using automation can enlarge the potential field of new customers. Hulu partnered with Ticketmaster, so when customers were ready to pay and check out, they received a value add, an offer for a free trial on Hulu.
Marketing automation has afforded CMOs the advantage of adapting sooner to changes in the marketplace. Footwear chain DSW reported it’s able to deliver marketing campaigns 70% faster than before. A spokesperson added that the change has also called for a different skill set and caused its marketing department to act more like entrepreneurs.
Brands not yet using marketing automation still have time to jump on the bandwagon. A June survey by Digital Commerce 360 showed that 39% of brands increased their marketing budget. 24% reviewed their marketing strategies, and 20% admitted they were adding new tactics they had never used before.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.